The DCU fresher side will be looking to ride the wave of momentum conjured by their senior counterparts when they travel to the University of Ulster Coleraine for annual Harding Memorial Trophy on Friday.
Similar to the Collingwood Cup, the Harding Trophy is decided over a three day period, as supposed to the former’s four, with eight of the country’s universities vying for honours.
DCU have drawn NUI Galway in the quarter final, while UCD take on UL, NUI Maynooth plays UU Coleraine, with Trinity and UCC completing the round. If successful DCU will play the winner of UCD and UL on Saturday, hopefully en route to Sunday’s final.
If Fran Butler’s team fail to beat NUIG, all is not lost; they will meet the losers of UCD and UL in the semi-final of the plate competition, the final of which will also be contested on Sunday.
Thus far, the first years have had relatively good season; finishing an admirable fourth in Division Two of the CUFL senior league. For the trip north they will be welcoming back Daniel Aherne, Connor Ralph, Dylan Dolan and Connor Byrne to the ranks, all of whom were involved in the senior side’s victory in Letterkenny a week ago.
Given the quality at Fran Butler’s disposal a place in the final four would be considered a conservative aspiration. Additionally, the fact that many of the players will use these games as means to plead their case for a place in Declan Roche’s squad for the Collingwood Cup at the end of the month, can only serve to further boost their chances of silverware.
The DCU ladies also play this week; competing for intervarsity honours in IT Sligo.